Evaluating the police service quality for handling traffic crash reporting: A combined MCDA and LCA approach

Kira Hyldekær Janstrup, Sigal Kaplan, Michael Bruhn Barfod, Carlo Giacomo Prato

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    Purpose The phenomenon of traffic crash under-reporting has been extensively documented in terms of its extent, but not equally analysed in terms of its reasons. As police distrust has been recently identified as a major reason for crash under-reporting, the purpose of this paper is to look at the police service quality for handling the reporting of traffic crashes. Design/methodology/approach This study introduces a novel approach to evaluate service quality that combines multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) with latent class analysis (LCA). Moreover, this study presents the design of a web-based survey on the basis of the SERVQUAL approach to detecting strengths, opportunities and threats with crash reporting to the police at a strategic level. Transportation stakeholders (e.g. researchers, authorities, consultants, NGO representatives, suppliers) with an interest in traffic safety in Denmark participated in the survey that yielded 86 complete responses. Findings The novel approach was successfully applied and its implementation demonstrated the usefulness of the tool even in countries with a high police service. Results showed that the participating stakeholders perceived human factors as more important than physical factors in order to increase the crash reporting, with responsiveness as the most important and tangibles as the least important dimensions. Nevertheless, most stakeholders viewed a mixture of human and physical factors as crucial to increase crash reporting rates. Originality/value This study advances the knowledge about police service quality with a novel expert-based decision support tool based on SERVQUAL, MCDA and LCA, demonstrates its applicability in countries with a high-police service, and opportunities and barriers for increasing the crash reporting rate.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPolicing: An International Journal
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)410-425
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Latent class analysis
    • Multi-criteria decision analysis
    • Police distrust
    • Traffic crash reporting
    • Public policy & environmental management
    • Policing
    • Criminal justice
    • Juvenile/youth crime
    • Police studies
    • Health & social care
    • Criminology & forensic psychology
    • Criminology & criminal justice


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